What’s this idea of Isru Chag; of celebrating Yom Tov on the day after Yom Tov?
In Mesichta Sukkah (45b) it says like this: כל העושה איסור לחג באכילה ושתיה – Anybody who makes an addition to Yom Tov by eating and drinking something additional, מעלה עליו הכתוב – the Torah considers it for him, כאילו בנה מזבח – as if he built an altar to Hashem, והקריב עליו קרבן – and he offered an offering. Now, that doesn’t make sense! The day after Yomtiv, you bring an offering?! It’s all over! Everybody has gone home!
And the answer is that you haven’t gone home yet! You’re still in the aura, in the atmosphere of Yontif because you hate to part with Yomtiv! You know, when Yomtiv comes to an end we’re not required to do more — it’s all over. And some people are even looking through the window and they’re counting the stars that are visible to know when Yomtiv is finished. But here is a man who long after Yontif is over – actually it’s the day after Yomtiv and he has to go to work already – but before he sets out to go to work in the morning, he puts on his breakfast table a bottle of wine. He doesn’t have time to drink much but he pours out a little thimble-full of wine and he also adds one more thing to his breakfast that he ordinarily wouldn’t eat. And why is he doing that? He’s doing it in honor of the Yomtiv that just passed by.
Now, to us it seems like a futile expression because after all it’s not Yomtiv. Last night was havdalah; it’s all over. But not for him! This man is still adding to the simchas Yom Tov. By demonstrating his affection for the past Yomtiv, by showing that it still lingers in his memory he demonstrates an affection for the Yomtiv and its lessons.
And the Gemara is telling us that it’s not considered a small thing at all. Adding beyond the line of duty is such an achievement that it’s as if he has built a mizbeach and brought an offering to Hashem. That’s the greatness of Isru Chag.
TAPE # 584